Posted by: Dennis Shiao | August 11, 2010

ROI For Virtual Events


The rich metrics and behavioral data available now with Virtual Events provide an entirely new and more accurate means of tracking ROI than typical events. So it’s easy to see why ROI experts like Todd Hanson are now looking to virtual to provide new insights into ROI. His company, ROI of Engagement provides “workshops, certification courses, webinars, keynote speaking, consulting and ROI evaluation.”  Hanson, President and Founder of ROI of Engagement, sees a bright future for virtual and hybrid events.

ROI of Engagement utilizes ROI Methodology™, which “prescribes five evaluation levels along with a disciplined process that provides a step-by-step approach to collecting data, summarizing and processing data, isolating the effects of programs, converting data to monetary value and calculating ROI.”

Survey Your Attendees

Surveys of event attendees are a key component of the ROI methodology.  According to Hanson, “we typically look for a 60% plus percentage response rate.  In most of our work, we are able to obtain this or much better.”  Of course, Hanson notes that one will see different response rates in different types of events.  A public trade show, for instance, will see response rates that vary from an internal corporate meeting.

While Hanson notes that every program should have a customized approach to incenting survey completions, tactics that have worked well for ROI of Engagement include:

  1. Advise attendees in advance that an evaluation will take place
  2. Send correspondence from an industry authority or ranking executive
  3. Provide a series of reminders
  4. Design survey questionnaires intuitively and succinctly
  5. Offer prizes as an incentive
  6. Promise to share the results with survey responders
  7. Promise to take action based on the results

Virtual Events: Real-Time Measurement of ROI

For virtual events, Hanson sees an exciting opportunity to leverage virtual event platforms to facilitate insight gathering and feedback in real-time (i.e. as the event is occurring).  By doing so, virtual events can “gain important insight into event success and turn findings into immediately actionable steps”, said Hanson.

Just imagine the possibilities.  At a virtual sales meeting, the virtual event platform can be used to gain insight into the CEO’s openings remarks (e.g. mission statement for the coming year).  At the conclusion of the meeting, the CEO can leverage the real-time feedback collected to adapt the closing session comments to fill the gap.

For e-Learning and virtual university, real-time insights into the training curriculum (and its effectiveness) can be used to guide the rest of the training agenda.


For Todd Hanson and ROI of Engagement, the virtual events and virtual business industry provides a great opportunity.  “The virtual and hybrid space is a priority for us“, said Hanson.  ROI of Engagement believes that as virtual and hybrid events embrace measurement, the industry will see quicker adoption and growth.


  1. […] “ROI for Virtual Events,” a posting I authored on the INXPO blog, with insights on virtual events ROI from thought leader Todd Hanson from ROI of Engagement […]

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